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‘Orange Island’ continues ‘Watch Dogs Legion’ granny hero trend

/ 06:29 PM June 26, 2019

After enthusiasm for “Watch Dogs Legion” suggested that heroic action-grandmas should appear more regularly in video games, indie game “Orange Island” has launched its own Kickstarter to immediate success.

Orange Island, Watch Dogs Legion

‘Orange Island’ is a game with real-world family connections. Image: Courtesy of Ted Sterchi via AFP Relaxnews

One of the big reveals from Ubisoft’s E3 2019 mid-June showcase was “Watch Dogs Legion”, an open-world adventure game in which players recruit and play as a team of revolutionaries made up of ordinary Londoners.

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Including grannies.

Featuring in the trailer and gameplay videos for “Watch Dogs Legion”, elderly hero Helen does not let an authoritarian government get her down.

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Her response to a near-future dystopia involves rolling herself precariously over waist-high barriers, hobbling government enforcers with surprising efficiency, and tottering dauntlessly between mission waypoints as fast as her arthritic limbs allow.

But as “Watch Dogs Legion” prepares for a March 2020 arrival, there is “Orange Island” to consider in a burst of color and at a fraction of the price.

Developed by New Yorker-in-London Ted Sterchi, the bright retro summer vacation adventure has players switching between four kids — Theo, Azure, Kira and Ami — and Theo’s magical grandmother Mary.

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Mary has a history with the island’s population of slime creatures, and it is up to the brave quintet to save her and restore peace to the wider region.

Reaching its initial crowdfunding target of £15,000 ($19,000, or around P978,000) in a day on Kickstarter, the Mac and PC project’s 8-bit style was inspired by classics like “Kirby’s Adventure”, “Zelda II”, “Wonder Boy” and “Mother”.

Appropriately, it could even find a home on the vintage Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) should stretch goals be met.

A pink, translucent, physical NES cartridge or plain white alternative kicks in once a communal £34,000 ($43,000, or P2.2 million) has been pledged, with a Nintendo Switch port commissioned at £49,000 ($62,000, or around P3.1 million) and a PlayStation 4 edition suggested as another possibility.

With digital copies available to backers of the basic £10 ($13, or almost P700) tier, launch is anticipated for May 2020, and closed beta access among the perks offered at £45 ($57, or about P2,900) and above.

Helping Ted make the game he dreamed of playing as a child are a crew of pixel artists, illustrators, and musicians, including Hiroki Kikuta, composer from the iconic “Secret of Mana”.

A Steam store entry is live for those that want to wishlist “Orange Island” before release. RGA/JB

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TOPICS: 8-bit, dystopia, NES, Nintendo Switch, Ubisoft, Watch Dogs Legion
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